PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —A rare lunar trifecta will appear early Wednesday morning.
A super moon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse all in one.
It’s a rare cosmic combo that hasn’t been seen in North America in more than 150 years.
“I think the longest title I’ve heard is the super blue blood full moon,” Lyle Tavernier of NASA said.
Tavernier, a jet propulsion laboratory’s specialist, says that lengthy name covers three lunar events all occurring together.
A supermoon which appears when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth.
“And just like anything that moves closer to you, when the moon moves closer to Earth, it appears slightly larger and because the moon is reflecting sunlight, it appears slightly brighter,” Tavernier explained.
It’s also a blue moon, a name given to a second full moon in a calendar month.
And it’s a blood moon too, the result of a lunar eclipse when the moon passes in the Earth’s shadow, appearing red because of dust in the atmosphere.
Scientists say, individually, the lunar conditions happen fairly regularly but it’s such a rare coincidence for all three to occur together.
“It is important that people go outside and sort of appreciate how beautiful nature is and maybe spark their interest in science,” astronomy professor Paul Kalas of UC Berkeley said.
If you don’t catch the triple treat you’ll have to wait some time to see it again. A lunar lineup like this won’t happen again until 2037.